A beautiful book exploring the year in tabletop gaming
We're an international team of authors and journalists with a shared passion for tabletop games. Over the past few years we've been thrilled with how the hobby has grown, bringing masses of new players to the table and unleashing the creativity of talented designers and artists around the globe.
We want to celebrate this golden age of gaming with a gorgeous hardback book exploring some of the year's most exciting releases - packed with gaming insight and analysis, designer interviews and stunning photography.
Want a sneak peak at the kind of content we have planned? Click here to check out a 20-page preview of the book. These are early work-in-progress files, and they include some placeholder text which will obviously not be in the finished product!
The quick version: why back this project?
- An indispensable guide to the year's best games
- Behind-the-scenes interviews with the industry's most talented designers
- Stunning full-colour photography of every featured game
- Dedicated chapters on family games, party games, strategy games and more
- RPG and miniature wargames coverage from expert authors
- More than 250 pages and 120,000 words of original games journalism from contributors to The Guardian, Tabletop Gaming Magazine, IGN, Ars Technica, VICE, Geek & Sundry, and Shut Up & Sit Down
- Free PDF and Epub editions with every physical copy
Back the campaign now and you'll be thanked by name in the book, and receive a £3 discount on the cover price!
Your guide to the greatest games of 2018
At the heart of the book you'll find more than 100 carefully crafted critical write-ups of the year's best games, from fast-playing party hits to brain-melting strategic challenges.
Rather than mechanical details, we'll focus on how games feel: the decisions they throw at players, the atmosphere they foster around the table, and how their creators have melded ideas and influences to create compelling gameplay experiences.
A fascinating glimpse into game design
Behind every great game, there's a captivating story of inspiration and creativity. We'll bring you behind-the-scenes interviews with the designers of the year's most talked-about releases, including:
- Isaac Childres (Gloomhaven)
- Eric Lang (Rising Sun)
- Matt Leacock (Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Forbidden Sky)
- Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Fireball Island)
- Alex Davy (Star Wars: Legion)
- Jonathan Gilmour (Dinosaur Island)
- Bruno Cathala (Kingdomino, Queendomino)
- Michael Kiesling (Azul)
- Reiner Knizia (Sakura)
- Corey Konieczka (Twilight Imperium: 4th Edition)
- Martin Wallace (AuZtralia, Lincoln)
- Jacob Jaskov (Fog of Love)
- Emerson Matsuuchi (Century: Eastern Wonders)
- Nikki Valens (Legacy of Dragonholt)
- Inka & Markus Brand (EXIT: The Game, The Rise of Queensdale)
- Aaron Vanderbeek (Castell)
- Jerry Hawthorne (Stuffed Fables)
- Andrea Mezzotero, Colby Dauch & J. Arthur Ellis (Crystal Clans)
- Scott Frisco & Steven Strumpf (Rhino Hero Super Battle)
- Alex Roberts (Star Crossed)
- Helge Ostertag & Jens Drögemüller (Gaia Project)
- Hjalmar Hach (Photosynthesis)
- Remi Amy (CIV: Carta Impera Victoria)
Beautiful full-colour game photography
We'll capture the presence and personality of every game we feature, showing off their artwork and components with extensive studio photography. Our goal is to create a book that's as beautiful and visually sophisticated as the games that have inspired it.
(Images above are an indication of the quality of photographs in the finished book, not necessarily the games featured.)
A perfect starting point for new players
We want to produce a valuable resource for all gamers, from experienced players to folks taking their first steps in the hobby.
That's why we're including an extensive section on current and classic "gateway" games for newer players. We have suggestions for all ages and tastes, and whether you're a board gaming newbie or an experienced game geek looking to introduce your friends and family to the tabletop, you'll find something to fit any group and any situation.
Board games and beyond
We don't want to neglect the other branches of the tabletop family tree! While the book's main focus is on board games, we'll have chapters dedicated to the year's most exciting developments in roleplaying games and tabletop wargames compiled by expert authors.
From Dungeons & Dragons to the most innovative indie RPGs, Warhammer 40,000 to Star Wars: Legion, we'll give you an instant overview of these thriving sections of the hobby.
Featuring a foreword by Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop
Ian Livingstone is one of the most influential figures in the history of the games industry. As the co-founder of iconic publisher Games Workshop and the co-creator of the Fighting Fantasy series of adventure game books, his work has introduced millions of players to the hobby.
It's hard to think of anyone with the same depth of experience in gaming, and we're delighted that he'll be contributing the foreword for The Board Game Book!
A gorgeous addition to your bookshelf
We're printing the book on 130gsm matte-finish paper. For comparison, glossy magazines typically use around 90gsm. The result is that the book will feel far more substantial and be much more resistant to tears or creases. The matte finish allows for exceptional print quality in photos and illustrations, and it also eliminates glare and maximises readability. It's the perfect paper stock for a book with a blend of text and images.
We're working with Bell & Bain Ltd., a printer based in Glasgow, Scotland whose clients include some of the world's leading publishing houses. We've been blown away by the quality of their work, their enthusiasm for the project and their commitment to environmental sustainability.
Meet the authors
Owen Duffy has written about games for The Guardian, Tabletop Gaming Magazine, Ars Technica, VICE and IGN. He's also appeared discussing games on BBC television and radio.
Follow Owen on Twitter: @owen_duffy.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @mattthr
Follow Teri on Twitter: @thatterigirl
Richard Jansen-Parkes is regular roleplay gaming writer for Tabletop Gaming Magazine and publishes RPG adventures at Winghorn Press.
Follow Richard on Twitter: @WinghornPress
What people are saying
No stretch goals!
For this campaign we've chosen not to rely on stretch goals. We want to give you a clear idea of exactly what we're offering. Everything described on this project page will be going into the book, and nothing is conditional on us hitting additional funding targets.
We need £15,000 to turn our idea into a professional finished product. Our budget breaks down like this:
The only way we can make this project happen is with the support of the gaming community. With your help, we'd like to publish a new edition of The Board Game Book every year, celebrating the fun and creativity that fuel our hobby. Getting this book printed and into readers' hands is the first step.
As books are exempt from import taxes and VAT, there are no hidden charges for international backers.
To keep postage costs as low as possible, we'll be shipping backers' copies from distribution centres in both the UK and North America.
Postage and packaging rates are:
- United Kingdom: £3
- United States: £5
- Canada: £6
- European Union £10
- Australia and New Zealand: £15
- Rest of World: £16
Remember that your pledge for a physical copy of the book includes a free digital edition, which will be made available to all backers as soon as the book is ready. You won't need to wait for delivery before you can enjoy its contents!
After the campaign's conclusion, we'll be using Backerkit to collect shipping information. From there, we'll be processing deliveries through fulfilment centres in the UK and the USA. We'll update backers on the project's progress from printing through to delivery.
Completing the book
We've already completed the important groundwork for the book. We've created our page layouts and made arrangements for production and fulfilment. You can also see some of the content we've already produced in our PDF preview.
The bulk of our remaining work revolves around writing, interviewing and photography. The nature of the book means that we'll be making additions and alterations as new games are released throughout the remainder of the year. We've built some leeway into our schedule to account for any unexpected setbacks, and we're confident in our ability to work to our projected timescale.
Find out more
Information for game publishers
Inclusion in The Board Game Book is solely baed on the authors' judgement, but we'd be glad to hear about your upcoming releases.
To be considered for the book, your game must be released between Essen Spiel 2017 and Essen Spiel 2018 and be available in retail in English-speaking markets. Sorry, but we're not covering Kickstarter-exclusive releases.
If you'd like to tell us about your games, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for retailers
We haven't included a retailer pledge level in this campaign. That's because we're in discussions with game and book trade wholesalers to arrange retail distribution. If you'd like to stock the book in your bookshop or FLGS, you should be able to get it from your usual suppliers on release.
If you'd like to be kept informed about retail availability, please contact email@example.com.
Do you want to support The Board Game Book and promote your business to an audience of enthusiastic games fans? We have a limited number of sponsorship pledges available as part of our Kickstarter campaign.
Become a sponsor and you'll receive a full-page, full-colour ad in the rear section of the book for your game, store, event or other gaming-related product or service. It will run worldwide in every book sent to Kickstarter backers, and in every copy sold at retail.
Sponsor pledges are available for £800, and as our way of saying thanks we'll send you 30 copies of the book - worth almost £700 - for you to use in promotional giveaways, competitions, resale or gifts to your staff, friends and customers.
Please let us know! We'll be glad to answer, and we'll update the project FAQ throughout the campaign.
Risks and challenges
Everyone working on The Board Game Book is a media professional with a record of producing high-quality work to exacting deadlines. We're confident in our ability to turn the project around on our projected timescales. We're also working with an established and respected UK printing company who meet our requirements in terms of quality and turnaround.
We'll be printing an overrun of books, and if any shipping problems occur, we'll send you a replacement as quickly as possible.
In the event that any of the contributors are unable to complete their work on the book, for example due to illness, we have extensive contacts in gaming media and will recruit a highly qualified replacement.
Should there be any delay to production or shipping, we'll communicate openly and honestly with you to explain what's happened and how it may affect our plans.
Finally, our funding goal includes a contingency budget to allow us to deal with any unexpected additional expenses and ensure that they don't derail the project.
In order to deliver pledge rewards to backers, we require information including your name, postal address and email address. By backing the project and providing this information, you consent to us receiving and processing this data. We may also pass this information to our distributors and to postal/delivery services in order to deliver your books to you. We take your privacy extremely seriously, and we will use your information only to fulfil pledges and deliver relevant information about The Board Game Book, such as production and delivery updates. We won't sell or otherwise disclose your data under any circumstances. If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA) your rights are protected under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation. You should familiarise yourself with this legislation and the protections it affords EEA residents.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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